The Jaguar XK140 was a fairly cutting-edge machine upon its release in 1954, receiving noteworthy tweaks and upgrades including new rack and pinion steering, up-specced braking hardware, and a new suspension setup with telescopic shock absorbers that afforded more travel. While it was an impressive machine from a mechanical and performance standpoint, the XK140’s bodywork design left quite a bit to be desired, having received very few changes from its XK120 predecessor that was introduced half a dozen years prior.
Recognizing its aesthetic shortcomings, the Coventry carmaker, supplied 11 rolling chassis to various coachbuilders in Europe, one of which was Turin’s Carrozzeria Ghia which would go on to produce just four XK140 specimens. Having already designed and built the coachwork for a trio of XK120s, Ghia was already particularly comforting penning bodies for Jaguars and would ultimately design a gorgeous set of coachwork that was made from aluminum and allowed the car to shed some 220lbs off of the standard steel-bodied 140s. On top of an accident, this vehicle’s history also includes several modifications made in the first 15 years of life that aimed to make the Jaguar more conducive to hill climbs and rally events. Its last owner replaced its original 3.4L straight-six with a larger 3.8L Mark IX six-banger, before eventually stowing the car away in a garage in 1979 where this one-of-four XK has been relegated to ever since…or at least until now.
The very first of the four examples ever to be produced by the famed Italian coachbuilder, this Carrozzeria Ghia-bodied 1955 Jaguar XK140 is slated to cross the auction block at Bonhams’ forthcoming Zoute Sale starting October 10 in Knokke-Heist, Belgium. Because of its immense rarity, representing one-quarter of all the units produced, the Italian-bodied British sportscar is expected to fetch between $230,000 and $350,000 — several times over what even the most pristine XK140s typically bring in when going under the hammer.